Christians Remain Strong in the Midst of Growing Persecution in Western India

( [email protected] ) Jan 10, 2004 10:17 AM EST

Bible League ministry trained Christians are fighting against the growing hostility toward Christians in western India, where Christians take up about two percent of the population. However Bible League shares the hope with the believers in India who are facing opposition at almost every turn, saying God is their refuge.

International Christian Concern reports thousands of anti-Christian pamphlets were recently distributed in western India, some of the pamphlets charging Christians with forcing "poor untouchables" outside the caste system to become Christians. One of the pamphlets is titled "A Conspiracy to Make India a Christian Country."

Similar pamphlets were distributed six years ago, days before Hindu nationalists attacked Christian prayer halls. Hindu nationalists have targeted Christians and mission organizations since coming to power in 1998.

Southern India has been among the most accepting areas of the Gospel however over the past year, Christians there have faced increased oppression, Bible League says. The new law hinders open witnessing and it requires registration upon baptism and the baptized Christians must report who baptized them. Because of this, many new believers were reluctant to receive baptism.

A missionary from Bible League speaks of the harsh persecution Christian ministers face in India. A Bible League-trained worker says:

"The mother is insane, and the children are handicapped and mentally retarded. When we went to their house, some Hindu extremist youths surrounded us. They tore away our Bibles and beat us. They threatened to kill us. But we will continue without fear."